Being a single parent is challenging, and a stressful way of life. If you can find the balance between work, home, children and time for yourself, it is a very rewarding experience. But there is no simple answer. The balance for each adult and every family is different. I tried to balance work with a happy and stable family life by considering my financial priority, cooperation and communication, coordinating with friends and family members, and taking time for myself.Managing money wisely helped relieve the financial strain that forced many single parents to work long hours or excessive overtime. I worked out a budget for living expenses and stuck to it. I spent time with my children instead of giving them money for entertainment purposes. I weighed the benefits of my job (salary, insurance, etc.) with what it would cost me in time spent away from my children. I found a less demanding job, which provided a better way of life for me and my family.
Being a single parent, I had to learn to cooperate and communicate. I had to keep in mind that while I went to work and fulfilled other parental obligations, my children were busy with their own activities. I made sure that my children knew how to reach me and that I knew where to find them. I made sure we all agreed on our schedules, transportation and all the details relating to a planned activity. It helped to post a calendar that listed all our activities, drop-off times, pick-up times, etc. And I made sure my workplace allowed my children to contact me when they needed to.
Full-time employment meant missing out on important after-school athletic events, school functions and Girl Scout meetings. I asked my cousin to pick up my children from school and babysit them until I picked them up after work. Instead of trying to make it to every event and feeling bad when I couldn’t, I invited my sister or brother and close friends to attend instead. My children liked the idea of being able to show their aunt or uncle their achievements or athletic skills.
Because I had to divide my time and attention between my three children, I made sure to take time out for myself. At least once or twice a month I made a point of doing something just for me. I sometimes lock myself in my room and read a book for an hour, or go to a matinee movie alone. Once a month I spent an evening with the girls. We’d go to dinner and dancing. This allowed me to meet other singles out there and to ease back into the dating scene. Everyone needs a break now and then, and I made sure I made the time.
Single parenting has become more common and accepted in the United States. Being a single parent is frightening, confusing and overwhelming, but it can also be very rewarding. Single or not, I am my children’s parent and the most important tools I possess are my love for my children, my wisdom and my common sense. If I do the best I can, learn from my mistakes (and I learn something new everyday) and love my children along the way, I’m doing all any parent, single or married, can ever do.
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"Single parent struggle"
For many years, children growing up in a single parent family have been viewed as different but nowadays the situation is different. Children of single parents can be just as progressive with emotional, social and behavioral skills as those with two parents.
Some people say that the only way for children to gain full emotional and behavioral skills is to be raised by both a mother and a father. There is an argument taken from the article by author Robert L. Maginnis : "Single-parent families cause juvenile crime". He states, "Children from single-parent families are more likely to have behavior problems because they tend to lack economic security and adequate time with parents". The statement that raw criminals are products of single-parent adolescence is absurd. It can be extremely difficult for one parent to raise a child by themselves for many reasons.
To be looked down on people must realize that single parents are becoming more common in today's world. Since 1995 the American family structure for children ages fourteen to eighteen consists of forty-two percent living in a first marriage family with both parents, twenty-two percent living in a second marriage step-family, twenty-one percent living in a single parent, divorced or separated family, six percent living in a single parent never married family and three percent living in a single parent widowed family. It is scary statistics. But that is not the only one problem. Parents who think they would never be able to provide emotional stability for their children by themselves should have taken the time to think this through before deciding to become parents.
Magginnis states that, "Boys who do not have fathers as male role models suffer especially". It is extremely important for a male child to have his father around, there are other ways of teaching a young boy the lessons he needs to become a man. The author of the essay tells about his own experience.
Children who are raised with both a mother and a father have more attention from both parents therefore they get the emotional time they need to progress in life. The author claims that it is true not in all circumstances. He provides an example of a family where parents always ague with each other. It harms child's psyche.
Not all families are lucky enough to have a healthy structure. It is important for society and government aids to notice these structural differences and take action. Government should support single-parent families.
Children from different kinds of families need guidance. Whichever family structure is implied it must be one of respect and strong moral values that they can someday pass on to their family.